“How To Read A Movie” Roger Ebert

How To Read A Movie” by Roger Ebert is an article that describes Ebert’s analysis of a film. I found many connections with this article to my athletics experiences. First, Ebert states that before a proper analysis can be conducted, it is vital to be familiar with the director and context/background of the film. This relates to my experiences of studying film against our opponent in lacrosse. Before breaking down the film, you should know what type of style a team likes to play and what their identity is. Going along in the article, Ebert preaches the importance of pausing the film occasional to break down what has happened, what is happening, and what might happen, as well as study the techniques and elements being incorporated. My lacrosse coach will stop and start clips from a lacrosse game multiple times to better describe what is on display so that I and the team can understand what a player or team is specifically doing at specific point in time.

The most intriguing part of this article is Ebert’s description of character positioning and its significance. Ebert claims that often characters positioned on the right side of the image are positive, and characters on the left are negative. I have never thought of this and have not noticed it. The next time I watch a movie, I will pay attention to this and see if it is true.

I went on to watch three additional videos of filmmaking. The video Camera Angles and Techniques” explains how to shoot deceptive camera angles, including the zolly shooting technique and why you should include multiple different angles. The zolly adds drama by creating a disorientating visual experience. Camera placement is essential when shooting action scenes. Different angles will make the video more dynamic and dramatic as well as enhance the illusion of depth. Camera angles can change the message, ideas, and emotions behind a project.

The second video I watched was “2011 A Space Odyssey – match cut“. A “match cut,” is when two shots with similar compositional elements are joined (in this case, obviously, the bone and the space station). These types of cuts are often used for simply aesthetic reasons, or, as in this case, to suggest a metaphorical or thematic connection.

The third and final video I watched was “Examples of Editing Techniques“. This video introduced and explained the multitude of editing techniques that can be used in filmmaking. My favorite techniques are flash cuts, and a slow motion/montage. A flash cut occurs when two geographically separate characters are performing an action and the camera cuts rapidly back and forth between the two to increase the tension of the scene(s). A prime example of a flash cut occurs in “Silence of the Lambs”, as the SWAT team surrounds the house.

From watching the short videos and reading Ebert’s article I learned a tremendous amount of filmmaking. There is so much that goes on behind the screen that I and the majority of the general population are unaware of. Having acquired a little knowledge of film production, I will be able to assess films more accurately and also be more appreciative of a good movie or television show.